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You should consider undertaking a cochlear implant in case you are experiencing hearing loss or are turning deaf. This is a small device that gets planted in your ear through a surgical procedure. It sends impulses to your auditory nerves directly, as a result of which sound signals get carried to your brain. Cochlear implants may not make you hear normally again, but help you with different sounds, and in the recognition of the different sounds around you like alarms, telephones, and door bells.
How it works?
- A cochlear implant is fit for children and adults who suffer from the sensorineural hearing loss. This condition damages the tiny hair cells in your inner ear, which is called the cochlea. Hearing becomes impaired when these get damaged.
- The device consists of two specific parts. The first part or the receiver-stimulator is placed under your skin via a surgical procedure. The other part of the device is the speech processor. It has to be worn around your neck in the form of a hearing aid.
- The external device is, however, larger in size than a usual hearing aid. The receiver gets placed under your skin, behind the ear via a small incision. It is connected to electrodes.
- This is inserted into the cochlea of your inner ear. The surgery requires a few hours to be undertaken successfully.
- The speech processor has to be placed two weeks after the surgery is undertaken. The processor can be connected to the microphone, and this can be worn around the ear.
- You can wear it on any other part of your body, based on your lifestyle and age.
Benefits of cochlear implant
The major benefits of a cochlear implant are as follows:
- You might be able to hear speech almost normally.
- You will be able to understand speech better, and will not have to depend on lip reading.
- It will be much easier and simpler for you to listen to the television and talk over the phone.
- You will be able to listen to music better.
- You may also be able to pick up various sounds around you that include soft, medium, and loud sounds.
- You will be able to control your own voice better. This makes other people understand you better.
If you are suffering from severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be able to change your life for the better. However, the results are not the same for all, and vary among people. It is possible for some people to benefit more from such an implant than others.
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The partial or total inability to hear is known as hearing impairment or hearing loss. It can be present at birth, or develop later in life.
There are a number of factors, which may cause hearing loss
1. Age - Age is the biggest factor when it comes to the loss of hearing, and you may lose the ability to hear as you age. This condition is known as presbycusis. It becomes difficult to understand high-frequency sounds like that of a child or a woman when you get old.
2. Noise - When you are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time, it damages your ears. This leads to loss of hearing. 5% of the total population of the world is affected by noise (the degree of suffering varies). It may be a result of continuous exposure to loud music or a sudden exposure to a loud noise like an explosion.
3. Hereditary disorders - Hearing disorder may be inherited by the dominant or recessive genes of parents in the child. 70-80% of these cases inherit from the recessive genes, whereas 20-25% inherit hearing loss from the dominant genes.
4. Trauma - Serious injuries of the head/ears may cause loss of hearing, which may be either temporary or permanent. When damage is caused to the brain, the brain fails to process the message conveyed by the ears. So even if the ears are totally functional, a person may face the problem in hearing.
5. Perinatal problems - The ototoxic effects on the fetus due to excess intake of alcohol during pregnancy lead to hearing the loss in about 64% of the infants born to alcoholic mothers.
Also, premature birth can be associated with hearing loss due to high risk of being exposed to noise in neonatal units.
Knowing about the causes of hearing loss can lead you a step closer to preventing this disorder as you age.
Here are some useful tips that can help prevent hearing loss:
1. Be more aware - You should be diligent and aware of the situations, which may risk your hearing ability and should try to avoid such situations as much as possible. Limit your exposure to sources of hazardous noises like firearms, firecrackers, concerts and clubs.
2. Take precautionary measures - If your occupation calls for working at an environment of loud noises, use earplugs or earmuffs to block out the excessive noise. Also, make sure that you work in a place where employers take all the necessary measures of noise control under the federal or state regulations.
3. Monitor your use of gadgets - Monitor and control the use of hearing devices, and try to reduce the use of headphones/ earphones as much as possible.
Related Tip: Why Do You Get an EAR Discharge?